SAVE THE AMERICAN INDIAN GRAD PROGRAM (MTAG)!
This petition made change with 5,734 supporters!
UMD wants to slash MTAG's budget and break promise to tribes and Indian people!
The University of Minnesota Duluth is proposing a significant budget cut to the Master of Tribal Administration and Governance (MTAG) program. This would be breaking a promise UMD made to Indian tribes and Indian people in its Vision and Mission statement. It is also a shifting of tribal funds intended to pay for the education of Native students to other University programs serving predominantly non-Native people. As MTAG Alumni, current and prospective students, family, friends, leaders and allies, we strongly oppose budgetary cuts for MTAG through elimination of a tenure-track teaching position for the Master of Tribal Administration and Governance (MTAG) program.
MTAG is the only program of its kind in the Nation. In only four years, MTAG has graduated eight Native people who are now elected to tribal councils around the region. The majority of MTAG graduates are serving in leadership and critical roles with tribal governments around the region and Nation. In just four years, the MTAG program has educated over 70 future tribal leaders. Further, MTAG is revenue-generating for the University system due to generous financial support from tribal governments via scholarships and direct tuition payments to subsidize tribal members, and has been showcased by UMD and the University of Minnesota on the covers of magazines and advertisements as evidence of the system’s commitment to diversity and Native Americans around the region.
The Tenure Track line UMD proposes to cut teaches almost exclusively in the MTAG program, and teaches the Tribal Administration courses (strategic, operations, human resources, and project management) for tribes. Cutting this position is a grave mistake which will undermine MTAG and an affront to Indian people and the tribal governments that have been financially supporting the program.
UMD and the University of Minnesota have committed to consulting with tribal governments on all matters impacting them. Making unilateral cuts to this one-of-a-kind program which was actually developed by tribal leaders in Minnesota and Wisconsin is an insult to the government-to-government relationship and flies in the face of UMD’s stated commitment to Indian tribes.
Our hope is that the University of Minnesota will reconsider this decision and stay true to its land grant status, and keep in mind where that land came from. It is our hope that UMD will read and keep the promises made in its Vision and Mission Statements of 2011:
We will serve the educational needs of indigenous peoples, as well as the economic growth, cultural preservation, and sovereignty of the American Indian nations of the region, the state and North America.
Mission: Goal 2
Develop and begin to implement a plan to serve indigenous people through the recruitment of students, staff and faculty, the enhancement of curriculum, and partnerships with tribal governments.
UMD is a land grant University. We sign this Petition to save the MTAG program, and to remind them of where all that land came from. Message to UMD: Save MTAG! Don't break promises to Indians!
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